Do You Regret Not Selling Maitland Niles? By Dan Smith
Mikel Arteta has often been accused of giving too many chances to his players no matter their performance. So for our manager to leave Maitland-Niles out of his recent squad the very next match after he started was some statement.
The Spaniard also felt the need to stress the player’s demotion had nothing to do with any kind of injury which he could easily have said to protect the youngster.
Instead, this was the explanation, ‘it’s about him, his performances, and how much he wants to get back into the team.’
That quote comes from arguably Maitland-Niles’s biggest supporter, with reports suggesting Arteta stepped in during the summer to argue against selling Maitland-Niles to Wolves. The club’s stance was obvious, at a time when they are trying to save money, they had a chance to get 20 million without harming the first team.
After all under 3 managers the England international has been nothing more than a backup make-shift full back, who views midfield as his preferred role.
Months later, he’s still a backup make-shift full back who can get nowhere near one of Arsenal’s worst midfields in decades. Molineux was his best option if playing further forward remains his preference.
When Gareth Southgate handed him his first senior cap it was in defence, and it could be his versatility that sneaks him into the Euro 2020 (21) squad. So there is a chance that he has reconsidered, and would rather embrace a new role if it means staying where he’s been since a child.
I’m not saying he’s not talented and at 23 of course he can get better. Yet to return to our previous levels we have to be ruthless.
He’s played 121 times for the Gunners so that’s enough chances. If it wasn’t for the Pandemic, I wouldn’t be suggesting this, but I would be on the phone to the Midlands seeing if their offer remains.
We still don’t know when we are getting match day revenue. We are sacking staff, making salary cuts, paying players to leave, taking out a loan – all to save money. When you’re in that situation, 20 million for someone mostly on the bench is a lot of cash.
If he wasn’t from our academy would Gooners be so against selling him. Why do you think our marketing team often choose British players to advertise merchandise? They are the players a fan will relate to.
Put it this way. Hector Bellerin is only two years older but compare the scrutiny he gets to Niles. Yet if I said count on one hand how many great games both have had, it’s easier to name them for Bellerin.
Bellerin doesn’t take on his man like he used to, but we know a couple of serious long-term injuries is the cause of that. There’s no such excuse for Maitland-Niles.
I maintain my stance from August. How can we make 55 redundancies just to save 2 million, yet not consider offers for players who can’t even get in the first 11?
Would you sell Maitland Niles?
Be Kind In The Comments